Apple on Thursday introduced version 3.0 of its Apple TV software, an upgrade that includes a revamped user interface, as well as access to iTunes LP, iTunes extras, Genius mixes, and Internet radio.
The new software is available now at no charge for existing Apple TV owners.
"The new software for Apple TV features a simpler and faster interface that gives you instant access to your favorite content," Eddy Cue, Apple's vice president of Internet Services, said in a statement. "HD movies and HD TV shows from iTunes have been a huge hit with Apple TV customers, and with Apple TV 3.0 they get great new features including iTunes Extras, Genius Mixes and Internet radio."
Apple introduced iTunes LP and iTunes extras during a September launch event for iTunes 9, the iPod nano with video camera and FM tuner, and lower iPod prices.
With iTunes LP, users get a host of additional music information, like lyrics, photos, writing, memorabilia, liner notes, chronology, credits, videos, and more, while iTunes extras function much like DVD extras, with a few more interactive features. With the software upgrade, users can access this content for full-screen viewing.
The home screen provides access to movies, TV shows, music, podcasts, photos, Internet, and settings. Hover over a selection like movies and a drop-down menu will present options like my movies, top movies, genres, all HD, search, and trailers.
On the music front, users can access Genius Mixes currently available on iTunes. Like you would on your iPod, select a song, press play, and then hold down the play button until the Genius option pops up. Apple will then configure a playlist of songs similar to the selected song. Version 3.0 can support up to 12 endless mixes, Apple said.
The Internet radio option provides access to thousands of Internet radio stations, Apple said. Tag a favorite station and listen later.